UW Health uses new technique to treat eye cancer in children

American Family Childrens Hospital
Courtesy of UW Health

MADISON, Wis. — Two UW Health clinicians broke new ground last month, performing a new technique to treat eye cancer in children.

Intra-arterial chemotherapy allows clinicians to use chemotherapy drugs with more precision, better targeting retinoblastoma. the most common kind of eye cancer in children.

UW Health pediatric hematology fellow Dr. Sudarshawn Damodharan, who utilized IAC, said that most cases are successful in both saving the eye and putting cancer into remission.

“In the past, retinoblastoma treatments have included enucleation, or removal of the eye, radiation, and systemic chemotherapy,” Damodharan said. “Intra-arterial chemotherapy is superior to those methods in some cases.”

The technique was first developed in Japan, and UW Health is the only hospital in the state to offer it to children. Dr. Margo Hoover-Regan, who worked with Damodharan, said that UW Health is not equipped to tackle most retinoblastoma cases in the Midwest.